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How do I get my nursing license reinstated?

Monday January 26, 2004
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I've been out of work for years and want to reenter the workforce. What needs to be done, as far as reinstating my license? Do I need to take some training to further my education or get updated on new procedures?



Dear April,

Every state has different requirements for reinstating your nursing license. The first thing to do is check with your state board of nursing. Find them at http://www.ncsbn.org/regulation/boardsofnursing_boards_of_nursing_board.asp" target="_top" onmouseover="window.status='Nursing Spectrum- Career Fitness Online'; return true">www.ncsbn.org. You should be able to find the information online. You can also call or e-mail them. Some boards respond best to e-mail but use whatever works.

If you want to return to the clinical setting and have been away for more than a few years, you will likely need to take a comprehensive refresher course. These are offered by colleges, universities, and sometimes by healthcare facilities. Contact your state board and/or http://nursingworld.org/snaaddr.htm" target="_top" onmouseover="window.status='Nursing Spectrum- Career Fitness Online'; return true">state nurses association to find courses in your area. You would want to look for a comprehensive course that includes both classroom and clinical time with a preceptor.

In the meantime, I would suggest you start to reconnect to your profession by reading some nursing journals. You can get out to the library of a local college that offers nursing degrees or to a local hospital medical library and browse in their periodical section. Generally, you don't need to be a student or an employee to use their facilities just for reading and research. And use online continuing education such as the ones at http://www.nursingspectrum.com/ContinuingEducation/index.htm" target="_top" onmouseover="window.status='Nursing Spectrum- Career Fitness Online'; return true">www.nursingspectrum.com.

While you're getting your license reinstated and taking a refresher course, consider volunteering somewhere healthcare related. This will help to build your confidence and give you a change to hone old skills and learn new ones. Volunteering is a great way to ease back into the profession and get your feet wet.

Good Luck!